We are at long last taking the advice of a great number of our readers who have over many years suggested we create a collection of published single-topic stories. Whether it be homes, people, recipes, architecture, design, history or nature, there is a wealth of material to choose from over these past 20-plus years.
This issue is the first of these Collector’s Editions (probably annually), and what better subject matter to begin with than stories connected to the sea.
Receiving a tip that Swanspoint, the 170,000-square-foot marine construction industrial workspace on 60 acres between Camp Lejeune and Swansboro on the Intracoastal Waterway, was sold this year to MarineMax was all the push I needed.
With a franchise on Wrightsville Beach’s Harbor Island, MarineMax retails new and used boats and offers repair services. Founded in 1998 with its headquarters in Clearwater, Florida, the company has more than 2,600 employees, with a revenue of $2.2 billion.
One of our most popular issues featured a Hatteras Yacht on the cover and looked at the roots of North Carolina’s boat building industry. Business NC estimated a year ago that the recreational boating industry has a $5.5 billion impact on the state’s economy and supports more than 20,000 jobs. With 322 miles of ocean shoreline, a connection to the sea is interwoven into the history of North Carolina, from days of old when pirates sailed into the creeks, bays and inlets looking for places to hide their treasure or lick their wounds to the modern luxury boat builders.
You would’ve thought the content choices would be easy, but as we went through just under 300 issues, we found so much rich material to select from.
In this inaugural Collector’s Edition issue, you’ll read about legends including the mystery of the grounding of the Sumner; Captain John Newland Maffitt (1819-1886) and Capt’n Eddy Haneman (1920-1994); the fleet of World War II Liberty and Victory ships built at Wilmington; Sea Skiff builder T.N. Simmons; the pioneering boat builders of our state; the Cape Fear River pilots; those who protect our shoreline at the Coast Guard Station on Wrightsville Beach’s south end; and sunken treasure.
Enjoy these stories as we sail into the final couple of months of the year.
— Pat Bradford, Senior Editor/Publisher